Disability Rights North Carolina (DRNC) is the focus of new legislation filed in the NC General Assembly (NCGA) that would require us to report to state legislators about our work every quarter. House Bill 361 is unnecessary, wasteful and creates a scary precedent in the state of North Carolina.
DRNC receives no state appropriations. As a private, independent nonprofit law firm we serve as the state’s Protection and Advocacy organization (“the P&A”). We are part of a national network of federally-funded, federally-mandated P&As that work to protect the rights and safety of disabled children, youth, and adults.
DRNC’s staff is eager to share information about our work, but HB361 would require mandated reporting to the state. This is counter to our federal mandate to be independent of the state. DRNC only learned of this legislation after it was filed and has not been consulted to create non-statutory solutions.
The passing of HB361 would set a precedent that the state legislature can compel a non-state entity (either for-profit or not-for-profit) that does not receive state funding to submit to mandatory reporting. The implications are far-reaching.
HB 361 would only further set back the advocacy work for North Carolina’s disability community.